By Kelly Louiseize
It has been a mixed bag for the tourism industry this summer as numbers start filtering in through business industries directly linked to the market.
“Major hotels in the area were busier this year than last,” says Ian Wood, co-ordinator of convention business services for the City of Greater Sudbury.
Last year hotels averaged at 72 per cent occupancy for the summer. This year it increased by two percentage points, Wood says.
The hotels are not the only places feeling the upswing in tourist visitations. Michel Béchard, Science North’s marketing manager in Sudbury, has noticed a significant increase in visitors to the centre.
“We have had an 11 per cent increase overall when considering admission to the Imax, Virtual Voyage, and the science centre,” Béchard says.
He attributes this to the specific exhibits, which are presently shown at Science North.
“With the Jane Goodall presentations, we have seen the biggest increase in attendance,” he says.
Last year the number of people visiting the centre was 160,984. This year for the same time period, numbers have increased to 178,959, Béchard says. He will have a clearer idea of how the numbers look when the summer tourist season ends and a professional firm establishes a survey.
Next year he expects Dynamic Earth, Sudbury’s newest attraction will make a significant difference in visitors to the area. The attraction will enable visitors to discover Sudbury’s geological basin through interactive exhibits, theatre shows and a chasm, which brings people into the Big Nickel mine site.